Inside the Beltway: Vigilant America

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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In what seems like another era, President Obama declared in a May 23 national security speech that the war on terrorism is ebbing, and that the need for “perpetual wartime footing” is past. Is it? Not according to 77 percent of American voters who say the struggle is ongoing and should remain a “top priority” on the government to-do list. Eighty-six percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats agree with this, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.

And in terms of understanding war in the post-9/11 era, some interesting numbers: 53 percent deem “the war on terror” a figure of speech; 48 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats agree. Another 39 percent overall say it’s a “real war like World War II”; 46 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Democrats concur.

FUTURE UNAUTHORIZED RESIDENTS’

The immigration bill that has engulfed the Senate sparks creative interpretation. Giddy fans of the legislation insist it will secure the border and prevent future illegal immigration. But wait. A new Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill has rattled idealistic claims and prompted squabbles that will last right through the Sunday talk shows. For one thing, the analysis says the legislation would allow new illegal visitors to arrive at a rate almost equal to what it is now, says Terrence Jeffrey, editor in chief of CNSNews.

“This revelation that 75 percent of illegal immigration would continue if the Senate immigration reform proposal were enacted is included in a section of the report headlined, ‘Future Unauthorized Residents,’” the exacting Mr. Jeffrey says. He cites page 23 of the 63-page analysis. It suggests that “people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers” would increase the number of unauthorized workers. The report estimates that “the net annual flow of unauthorized residents would decrease by about 25 percent relative to what would occur under current law.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, also pored over the CBO report, concluding that the bill ultimately will allow 46 million legal immigrants to arrive in the next two decades, increasing the federal debt and lowering middle America’s wages. And Sen. Marco Rubio? The Florida Republican says the report agrees with “conservative economists” who say immigration reform benefits the economy and lowers the debt.

Confused? Have a peek at the report here: cbo.gov

FOR THE LEXICON

“Enroll America” is here.

Launched this week, the nonprofit organization is charged with promoting Obamacare. The name is likely to be bandied about by the press from now on as the group plans to stage 50 public events in 18 states over the next week, with many more to come. It boasts a potential staff of 200; the new president is Anne Filipic, former deputy executive director of the Democratic National Committee and former deputy director of public engagement at the White House.

CRUZ CONTROL

Sen. Ted Cruz is still captivating voters in the Lone Star State, who picked him as the most promising White House hopeful. Mr. Cruz emerged the favorite in a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, garnering 25 percent of the vote and besting Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Mr. Cruz “has become the pre-eminent rising conservative in Texas,” says poll co-director Jim Henson. “What we’re witnessing in the numbers is Cruz running ahead and reaching back for the baton, and Rick Perry has the baton. The only question is whether Rick Perry is ready to hand it to him.”

The poll of 1,400 Texas voters also reveals that 46 percent are Republicans and 45 percent Democrats, while 48 percent are conservative, 27 percent are moderate and 24 percent are liberal.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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